I am sorry, but how in the H – E double hockey sticks do I have a THREE year old???????
I swear it was just last week I brought him home from the hospital. An 8 pound bundle of absolute joy… well, to me anyway. The first time I laid eyes on him I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen…. Jeremy saw him as a blob who ate, slept and pooped a lot.
The past three years have been a whirlwind… an absolute mess of emotions. From joyful and thankful to scary and sometimes saddening, to happy, humbling, exciting, overwhelming …. the list is never ending. It’s been a turning point for me as a person, and without a doubt the best time period in my life thus far.
I remember about 12 or so years ago, the mother of my then boyfriend way back when said to me that “the best years of her life was when her babies were little”. My 18 year old self could not imagine how that would be fun?!?!? No time to yourself? Taking care of toddlers all day?? Not having the ability to go out on the town or do whatever you wanted whenever you pleased?? Eh… yes I suppose it could be enjoyable, but the best time of your life?? No way!
My 30 year old (almost 31) self can not find that statement to be any more true.
Gavin is an absolute dream (most of the time… let’s not get ahead of ourselves… he IS a three year old and does have his bad moments and awful days) and he manages to amaze me almost daily with his witty little comments, affection and love for us and awe in the world around him, ready to learn and take it all in.
Getting to be his mommy is an honor to me, it’s a truly a gift… and I truly mean that with all of my heart. He has taught me more about myself in three short years than I figured out on my own in the 27 before him. I can’t imagine life without him in it. He is an absolute blessing to our lives…
OK so now that I have had my moment to be a sappy mom, on to the party!
Each year after the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the New Year, I always get in gear to plan for Gavin’s Birthday Party. This year he was adamant he wanted “Pirate School” for his Birthday festivities…. Cue lots of failed thoughts and ideas at how I was going to make this happen. I was banking on having his party at a Bounce House type place and throwing some in Jake and the Neverland Pirate decorations. It would work right??
I never really dreamed of having a Spring baby… I am a March baby and when my Birthday wasn’t overshadowed by Spring Break, it was normally always cold, wet and dreary. So when we found out we were pregnant for the first time and that the baby was due to be born in March, it just made me laugh.
For this very reason (the wet and the dreary) I always plan for an inside party. You just cannot trust March and I don’t want to end up in a mess with 2 dozen toddlers plus their parents in tow. God help me, but the past 2 years his party falls on a gorgeous 55+ degree day.
Anyway somewhere around the end of December Gavin decided he wanted a Thomas Birthday instead… Hallelujah!! I scoured Pinterest.com and came up with a ton of great ideas.
Pause for a second so I can lament on the fact that I have a THREE year old again… How in the world did my baby become such a big BOY???
Okay, back to the Thomas the Train party. I decided to book the party at the National Capital Trolley Museum. I wasn’t sure we would really take part in the historical aspect of the museum but I knew Gavin would be head over heels for the Trolley ride they provided as part of the party package and it would easily fit into the Thomas “theme”. Plus it didn’t break the bank which Jeremy liked.
I decided on Train Whistles and Conductor hats for favors. I got them both off Amazon.com and after some searching and waiting for the right deal, scored both for under $30. I also added some candy for the “big” kids and some treats for the babies as well.
I put everything in little bags that I purchased from Party City, adorned them with individual name tags that I made so they could go into the “Baggage Claim” station at the party.
Honestly, this is the most last minute I have ever thrown a party together so I was a bit rushed during that last week, so I have to say once again THANK the LORD for Aunt Katie (and even Uncle Moose) this year for all the help!!
The night before they were hard at work helping me to make everything perfect for Gavin’s party!
The party was scheduled for 2:30-4:30pm the day before Gavin turned 3. The day of the party we went to swimming lessons in the morning like usual and then came home for nap time while Daddy ran around town completing the last minute errands and picking up the food trays.
We had decided on Sandwich and Wrap platters from Costco and a Chicken Nugget tray from Chick-fil-A plus a bunch of other little munchies I put together myself. All of the trays were pre-ordered and all we had to do was stop in and pick everything up. So simple and hassle free.
I got all the last minute stuff ready at home and got the car packed up while the kids napped.We seemed to be on schedule.
I am not sure how this happened but my GPS got me completely lost and I somehow managed to make it to the venue at the same time the party was supposed to start!!!!!! I was in a bit of a panic to say the least. I had left early ahead of everyone else so I could start the set up on my own and I ended up getting there as the guests were arriving.
After 1o minutes of overwhelmingly crazy rushed and totally unlike my style of setting up the party was ready to go. Luckily my boy hardly noticed.
I absolutely hate that I was so overwhelmed I didn’t even stop to take a few good pics of the set up… UGHHH (slaps palm to forehead). Makes me so mad to think about!!
I did manage to acquire ONE good picture of the crafts that we (Aunt Katie) put together for his party….
The party actually went off without a hitch after my late arrival… We had about an hour and 20 minutes to eat food, hang out and let the kids play and then we had to get ready for the trolley ride.
Gavin was so excited to carry the special Birthday sign to the trolley ride and have all his friends follow him.
We all got ready to board the trolley!!
Gavin had the beast seat in the house!!
And even got to sit in the conductors chair and ring the train bell!!
Everyone had a blast on the ride and I think even the adults thought it was pretty cool!
My absolute most favorite moment of the day was when Gavin went up in the Conductors seat and stood up so everyone could sing “Happy Birthday” to him. He was SO excited and relished in every moment, he really loved it… my little ham!! I am just happy I had sunglasses on… tear!!
Once the Trolley ride was over we went back to the Museum for Cake (well cupcakes)!!
Thanks again Aunt Katie and Uncle Moose for the awesome cake… it looked JUST like the inspiration picture on Pinterest that Gavin had picked out.
We got to sing to Gavin again (which he loved) and then everyone chowed down.
I was worried about this party… thinking maybe people would be bored, there wouldn’t be enough to do but it actually turned out perfect. Just the right amount of time and most of all Gavin had an absolute blast. He couldn’t stop talking about it for days.
I still can’t believe I have a three year old…
On his actual Birthday we took him to the mall for lunch and pictures with his sister… After the mall he got to come home and play with his new toys and we sang Happy Birthday to him one more time. It was a perfect third Birthday weekend.